Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You For Serving, Guys and Gals

 

What Is A Veteran
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking. What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, the greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say "Thank You." That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU."

author- Father Denis Edward, USMC
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15 comments:

RWA said...

Here's to all of our veterans - and to the memory of those who have given their lives in the service of this country.

May God Bless all of you - today and every day.

guinness222 said...

OUTSTANDING! If only the rest of the world took the time to read it.
Mr. Guinness AG2

chesneygirl said...

I am very thankful for each and every one!

Thank YOU, mr coffey, Happy Veteran's Day!! ;)

e.Craig Crawford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
e.Craig Crawford said...

Great post. Happy veterans day, you old ex-tin-can squid.

Olly said...

Very thoughtful post. Thanks Coffeypot and Happy Veteran's Day to you.

Brother Dave said...

And… Thank You, coffeypot.

Cant Hardly Wait said...

Great post. Happy Veteran's Day! =)

Jim Latchford said...

I honor your past service to our country and for your present passionate desire to see to it that the honoroed generations of its guiding principles are never tarnished or diminished.

Anonymous said...

Happy Veteran's Day, Coffeypot! Tina

Biddie said...

Thank YOU, my friend :)

KB said...

Coffey, Thank you for your service. I can never truly express how grateful I am to be able to raise my daughter here in the USA due to y'all.

Pamela said...

amen.

Scarlet said...

Every year for Rememberance Day November 11th I make sure my kids and I buy a red poppy from a vet. And always say thank you.

Christine said...

I admire everyone that serves, have served or will serve.

And not only because I am a chicken shit at heart.

I think it takes a strong person to say "I am willing to give my time, my heart and possibly my life to my country"

Wow.